Ghost Story – A review

The latest Dresden novel by Jim Butcher came out in July.  It took me all of two days to finish reading it.  I may have been anticipating its release more than I was A Dance with Dragons because of the shock ending of the previous novel Changes.

For pure entertainment value I give the book a solid thumbs up.  For its ranking in my enjoyment of other Dresden books, it probably comes in last.  It is much easier to knock something in a review than praise it.  Here are some things the book does well:

  • The A plot is engaging.
  • The world of ghosts in the Dresden-verse is fascinating and worth a book’s sojourn to experience.
  • Butcher continues to overall uber-plot of the series.  He touches on every loose end from Changes.
  • Those things that folks like about Dresden books are all present: snappy dialog, exciting action scenes.

If you like Dresden books, you’ll like Ghost Story.

But the book is severely flawed.  Hoo boy!  Dresden plays little role in the A plot climax.  The book promises you a mystery as the A plot, but the A plot turns out to be something completely different.  The mystery, the piece every Dresden fan wants to see, is barely the B plot and is never pursued as a mystery.  The emotional climax of the book happens in flashback.

The most annoying is that much of the book is played as a psychological internal drama as Dresden copes with the actions he took in Changes.  Unfortunately that plays out too repetitively.  Rather than showing Dresden slowly coping or falling apart, it just seems to repeat the same griefs and regrets over and over.

Hey, look – I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it, but I did the review without any significant spoilers.  Nifty.

If you want spoilers, go read the book.  I am eager for the next installment!


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